November 13, 2020
What to translate & how to choose a translation agency when approaching foreign markets
The world today truly is one large, global marketplace. Companies, organisations and businesses trade internationally and work with partners based abroad on regular basis. Due to consistent improvements in technology, even UK based SMEs are able to approach overseas markets with a relative ease. Nonetheless, before a successful internationalization can actually take place, there are several important steps a company must undertake and aspects which must be closely evaluated and considered. Ensuring that your chosen audiences are able to read and learn about your offering directly in their native language is perhaps one of the key characteristics of a successful business expansion. In order to allow just that to happen, your company must consider working with a professional translation agency to convert documents and materials, allowing the target audience to access all of the important information freely in their language.
Nonetheless, for companies which do not have a previous experience in working with translation agencies, the process may seem perhaps a little bit puzzling. Today, we’ll take a closer look at which particular materials and documents you should consider translating, and what makes a translation agency a good fit when you’re looking for one.
What to translate?
There are several different corporate materials you should carefully consider translating when approaching new, foreign markets. This can depend not only on your particular business structure, but also on how you are planning on penetrating the overseas market. For example, small and medium companies often refrain from having a physical presence abroad (e.g. a high street shop), as it may significantly increase the costs, and choose to fully focus their efforts and budget online instead.
Regardless of whether you decide to focus your efforts solely online or you will in fact have a physical presence in the chosen market, there are some aspects both strategies have in common when it comes to translating content. In reality, irrespective of your chosen internationalization method, you should consider translating the following:
- Your company’s website
- Blog articles & news
- Case studies
- Social Media channels
- Product descriptions
- Legal documents
Your company’s website
Translating a business website is usually a key element of an internationalization process. Generally speaking (especially true if you choose to approach the foreign market online), your company’s website will be a primary point of contact between your brand and a potential customer. Making sure that the digital content is available to them directly in their native language can not only help you to build a strong branding abroad but may also increase the chances of conversion.
A recent study has shown, that more than 90% of European consumers strongly prefers to purchase products or services online if they can learn about the offering in their mother tongue. Interestingly, almost 60% of those asked claimed to very rarely or never buy products online on websites which are only available in English. As you can see, by simply translating the company’s website, you greatly improve your chances of increasing sales and revenue.
Blog Articles & news
Having your website translated into the market’s native language is great for increasing conversion rates, however, before this happens, a potential customer must be able to find your website in the first place. Having your blogs, articles and news translated is a fantastic way of increasing organic traffic and as a result, revenue.
Writing informative, in-depth articles about your particular business sector or products will allow you to not only increase relevant traffic to the website, but also to be considered an expert within your corporate field, both of which can indirectly lead to increase in sales.
When approaching international markets, translating your case studies can be a truly beneficial step. When converted, these can help the potential clients or business partners learn more about the way you work, your processes as well as allow them to better understand the benefits of working directly with your brand. As your brand may have a number of different case studies created for the home market, it’s important to translate only those which would be applicable within the new, foreign market, for example, if you plan on offering only some of your products and services, translate case studies relating specifically to those, as this will help you in keeping the costs down.
Social Media channels
Social Media play an enormously significant role in the business world today. From promotions and advertising to building a strong brand and simply communicating with the customer base building stronger relationships, any successful company, quite simply, must have a social presence in 2020.
Having a dedicated channel translated, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or another platform into the new market’s native language will allow your brand to share any information with the potential customer base with ease and help you to communicate your messages across to the market – simultaneously allowing you to build a strong and professional image of your brand.
Whether you approach the international markets digitally or physically, translating the descriptions and details of your products/services is absolutely key. If you plan on trading solely online, this should naturally be included within the process when translating your website. Nonetheless, if you also intend on having a physical presence abroad, you must consider converting any product descriptions contained on your packaging, booklets or any other materials your potential customer may come across when exploring the market.
Although the materials described above relate to the marketing or promotional side of doing business internationally, it is also extremely important to remember that your legal documents must also be carefully translated.
It is essential that any warranties, terms and conditions or contracts are accurately translated directly into the market’s native language, giving you a peace of mind in the long run, as well as giving the customer confidence and reassurance when it comes to doing business with your company.
How to choose the best translation agency?
If you’re a UK based organisation, choosing a suitable translation agency for converting your materials and documents can be a truly challenging task, especially if you work on behalf of businesses that do not have any previous experience in doing so. In fact, there are several different aspects you should carefully consider when deciding on your next translations partner.
Firstly, it’s important to ensure that the translation agency of your choice works only with native human linguists. This ensures highest possible linguistic accuracy and precision. Additionally, if the person translating your materials and documents is a native speaker, they will be able to not only fully understand the linguistic side of things, but will additionally have an in-depth knowledge of the cultural factors of the target market, which can directly affect your translation’s suitability. Indeed, who better to translate your content than a person who could potentially also be a customer?
Moreover, when choosing the translation agency, make sure that they have a previous experience in translating content and documents from your particular business field. Certainly, jargon and lingo used differs significantly across different business sectors, and so in order to reach the highest possible accuracy, the person converting your materials must be aware of any sector-specific vocabulary they might find within your documents. In order to check this, you can simply look at the translation agency’s list of past clients, reviews on trusted third-party websites such as Google or going through their case studies.
Last, but definitely not least – in order to ensure that the process goes smoothly, the translation agency of your choice must be responsive and approachable. Translating can be a long, costly and complicated process, and so if the agency takes a long time to respond to your queries or the customer service isn’t ideal, this might be an indication of potential troubles down the line should anything go wrong with your translation. As a result, always work with language agencies which respond to your questions in a timely manner and which have high levels of customer service satisfaction.
As you can see, professionally translating your materials and content when approaching foreign markets is absolutely necessary in 2020 and moving forward. International customers now simply expect to be able to find detailed information about your business in their native language and so in order to meet their hopes, you must partner with a suitable translation agency or a linguist who has a previous experience in working within your particular business sector.
Having content accurately translated, from your website to other marketing materials and legal documents, will be a genuinely beneficial venture that will allow your organisation to flourish and stand out within the competitive, foreign market.